The Best Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats | Top 6 | USA


The Best Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats USA

The most eco-friendly yoga mats are made from natural materials organically produced from sustainable sources. Some yoga mats are produced from recycled materials. Some eco-friendly yoga mats are biodegradable and others can be recycled.

Using an eco-friendly yoga mat that’s right for your practice brings a whole new dimension to your yoga practice.

Here we’ve chosen 7 best and most eco-friendly yoga mats on the market today:

  1. Yogasana Cotton Yoga Mat
  2. Valka Cork Yoga Mat
  3. Jade Harmony Yoga Mat
  4. Liforme Yoga Mat
  5. Manduka eKO Lite Yoga Mat
  6. SATTVA Organic Jute Hemp Natural Tree Rubber Yoga Mat

Let’s take a closer look at these eco-friendly yoga mats, their materials, manufacturing and disposal options. We’ll also see pros and cons for each one and a reason to buy.


Yogasana Cotton Yoga Mat

Material: Cotton

Size72 x 25 in (183 x 63.5 cm)
Thickness4 mm
Weight1.8 kg
Designone design in several colours

Cotton Yoga Mat Material

A cotton yoga mat will last a lifetime, you can wash it as much as needed. It gets a greater grip when it gets wet with sweat. It is biodegradable and you can up-cycle it at the end of its life.
You can use a cotton yoga mat for any type of yoga. Unfortunately, the disadvantage compared to other non-fabric mats is the cushioning, so you may want to use it in combination with a cork mat or natural rubber mat.

Manufacturing

Yogasana Cotton yoga mat is handwoven in India. It takes 3 days to weave a single rug and 10 days to finish it.
Yogasana belongs to the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkxMOuRxbkA

Using

Indian Cotton yoga mats are the traditional mats for yoga in India. Cotton and natural materials are the best to connect you with the Earth. Sadhguru, a yogi and mystic of our time, explains it in this video.

Great for all kind of yoga, particularly Vinyasa, Ashatanga, Hot yoga, Power yoga but also calmer styles like Yin and Kundalini yoga. Cotton offers a a strong grip.
Cotton yoga mat is not as not as soft as a natural rubber yoga mat, but still has sufficient cushioning.
This is a great mat to practice on carpets and on the grass. However, if you are going to practice on hard surfaces like wooden, laminated either in a class or at home. I recommend you get a grip it pad to avoid your mat slipping.
Although getting an extra pad may seem like an extra hassle it actually provides you with greater flexibility as you can practice on different surfaces.
https://www.amazon.com/Gorilla-Grip-Original-Available-Protection/dp/B00MEYZZXW/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=grip%2Bit%2Bpad&qid=1581809670&sr=8-8&th=1

Disposing

You may no need to dispose your Yogasana cotton yoga mat. It has a 15 year warranty and you can always upcycle. If it happens to end in landfill, it will degrade in a couple of years without any toxic chemicals being released.

PROS

  • Washable
  • Biodegradable
  • Recyclable
  • Upcyclable
  • Good for indoors and outdoors practice
  • 15-year warranty

CONS

  • Cotton like other fabrics can be a bit coarse to the skin, you may like a more cushy mat underneath to help your knees and joints.
  • Looks like it’s not from organic cotton.

Reason to Buy

30 days money back and a 15-year warranty. Beautiful colours. When you buy a mat $5 are donated to educate the children of Yogasana workers.

Get it now on Amazon


Valka Cork Yoga Mat

Material: Portuguese Cork (top layer) and Natural Rubber (bottom layer).

Size72 x 24 in (183 x 61cm)
Thickness4 mm
Weight2.4 kg
Designplain cork, elephant and chakras

While there are many other cork yoga mats. We chose this one because it has SGS certification. It uses recycled organic cork for the top layer and natural rubber for the bottom layer. Other cork yoga mats use TPE instead of natural rubber.

Valka Cork / Natural Rubber Yoga Mat Material

Cork is a natural material made from the cortex of the oak tree. It’s a renewable source that doesn’t damage the trees during its harvesting. While there are 100% Cork yoga mats, most have one side made of cork and the other one made from a different material to make them non-slippery on the floor surface.

Manufacturing

Valka yoga mat is made from recycled organic cork and natural tree rubber. The SGS certification indicates it comes from sustainable sources and it’s friendly to the environment.

The natural rubber for the bottom layer provides good insulation and cushioning. The top layer made from cork is hot-pressed into a fabric which allows maximum flexibility and will not crack.

Using

Cork is antibacterial and provides a good grip when wet. This makes it a good yoga mat material for all types of yoga including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Power and Hot yoga.

According to the manufacturer, this mat will last at least 2 years of everyday practice, maybe a bit more if you look after it well.

Disposing

Cork and natural rubber will biodegrade in a landfill without producing toxic chemicals in the process. It will take between 1 to 5 years to degrade. It’s also recyclable if the facilities in your area allow it.

PROS

  • SGS Certified
  • Produced from a sustainable source
  • Good for all types of flooring
  • Good for all types of yoga
  • Antibacterial
  • Biodegradable
  • Recyclable

CONS

  • Only one size and thickness

Reason to Buy

Valka offers 30-day money-back guarantee and 1-year free replacement warranty.

Get it now on Amazon


Jade Harmony Yoga Mat

Material: Natural Rubber

Sizedifferent sizes
Thickness3/16 in (4.8mm)
Weight1.4 kg
Designdifferent colours

Harmony is one of Jade Yoga’s mats

JadeYoga participates in community programs and donates a small portion of their sales to cancer research, raises awareness and supports children with autism and children who suffer abuse.

Jade harmony has a range of natural rubber yoga mats in different sizes, thickness and colours. Although they don’t have special designs, their mats come in different colours.

Natural Rubber Yoga Mat Material

Natural rubber is harvested from rubber trees in South America and South Asia. It helps local communities and is biodegradable. Natural rubber yoga mats provide all the comforts of synthetic materials without toxic chemicals.

Manufacturing

Jade Harmony Yoga Mat is made from natural rubber. It’s produced in the US according to FDA standards.

JadeYoga is an American company based in the United States. They contribute to the environment by looking after the production process as well as by planting a tree every time you buy one of their yoga mats. So far they have planted 2 million trees!

Using

Natural rubber is good for all types of yoga including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin yoga, Kundalini yoga, Iyengar yoga among others. You may need to wipe and let your yoga mat dry after a sweaty practice.

A natural rubber yoga mat has a rubber smell when new, so you will need to air it out for a couple of weeks. Natural rubber yoga mats are washable, water-resistant and provide good cushioning.

Natural rubber degrades quicker when exposed to sun-light or sea-water. If you will use it for Hot yoga, it may not last as long.

Disposing

The lifespan of natural rubber is only a couple of years. Biodegradation takes up to 5 years
Recyclable if the facilities in your area allow it

PROS

  • Good for all floorings
  • Strong grip
  • Produced from a sustainable source
  • Biodegradable
  • Recyclable if the facilities in your area allow it

CONS

  • Degrades in a couple of years
  • Even though Jadeyoga mats are free from latex, if you have a latex allergy it’s best to choose a different material to avoid allergy sensitivities.

Reason to Buy

It’s a high-quality eco-friendly yoga mat with a strong grip and cushioning. When you buy this yoga mat, JadeYoga will plant a tree.

Get it now on Amazon


Liforme Yoga Mat

Material: EcoPU (top layer) and Natural Rubber (bottom layer)

Size73″x 27″ (185x68cm)
Thickness4mm
Weight2.5 kg
DesignAlignment Marker System

Eco-PU Yoga Mat Material

Liforme yoga mat top layer is Eco-PU and the bottom layer is Natural Rubber. Liforme invested five years of research to develop their own Eco-PU patented yoga mat material. According to Liforme study, Eco-PU will degrade in between 1 to 5 years in landfill conditions.

Manufacturing

Liforme has invested years of research to come up with their own Eco-PU patented yoga mat material. They offer a variety of colours, sizes and thicknesses.

Liforme developed an alignment design printed on the mat to help your yoga practice. They donate 5% of their sales to Friends of the Earth charity and RSPCA among others. Liforme also helps small communities in India by providing them with microloans and education to empower disadvantaged women and children.

Using

Liforme yoga mat is good for most types of yoga except hot yoga and other heated yoga practices. The lifespan of the Liforme yoga mat is reduced if used in hot and humid climates.

Disposing

Liforme yoga mat biodegrades in 1-5 years in a landfill according to their own study made by Imperial College London. It’s difficult to say whether this study is biased or not.

PROS

  • Eco-PU provides good grip
  • Alignforme system helps to perfect your asanas.
  • Biodegrades in 1-5 years in a landfill
  • Different sizes and thicknesses

CONS

  • Natural rubber has a rubber smell for a couple of weeks until it airs out.
  • The yoga mat needs to dry after a sweaty practice.
  • This yoga mat is not recommended for hot yoga or to be used in hot and humid climates.

Reason to Buy

Alignment marking system to help you perfect your asanas.

Get it now on Amazon


Manduka eKO Lite Yoga Mat

Material: non-Amazon harvested Natural Rubber.

Size68″x26″ (173x 66cm)
Thickness2.5 mm
Weight2 kg
DesignAlignment Marker System

Natural Rubber Yoga Mat Material

The eKOlite is the only Manduka yoga mat that is made of natural rubber. Not all Manduka yoga mats are eco-friendly. The Manduka PRO line is made of PVC (Source).

Manufacturing

Manduka offers 3 lines of yoga mats PRO, eKO and GRP. The PRO line is made of 100% PVC according to the company. The eKO line is made of natural rubber. Manduka has a variety of yoga mat sizes, thicknesses and designs.

The eKO Lite yoga mat has a closed-cell surface that prevents the sweat from being absorbed and the build-up of bacteria.
It’s 99% latex-free but if you are sensitive to latex we would dissuade from buying this mat.

Manduka company offers a recycling program in the United States called LiveON that aims to collect your old yoga mat of any brand when you buy one from them.

The mat is recycled into other materials and the company is intending to implement the same program in Europe.

Using

The eKO yoga mats have a good grip. They are not recommended for people with a latex allergy as natural rubber may cause sensitivity.
This yoga mat has a rubber smell that will air out in a few weeks.

The mat will degrade quicker in hot and humid environments and if exposed to sunlight. The estimated lifespan of a yoga mat made of natural rubber is about 2-3 years, but some yogis have it for longer. It depends on the practice environment and how well you look after it the mat.

Disposing

Manduka is the only company we have come across that recycles their own yoga mats and any other yoga mat if you buy a new one from them.

PROS

  • Sustainable natural tree rubber
  • Recyclable

CONS

  • Natural rubber has a rubber smell for a couple of months until it airs out.
  • Need to wipe and let to dry after each sweaty practice. It lasts only a couple of years

Reason to Buy

Wide variety of sizes, thickness and designs.
They even have a round eKO yoga mat!

Get it now on Amazon


SATTVA Organic Jute Hemp Natural Tree Rubber Yoga Mat

Material: Organic Jute-Hemp (top layer) and Natural Rubber (bottom layer)

Size72 x 24 in (183 x 91 cm)
Thickness5 mm
Weight3 kg
DesignElephant, Phoenix and b kind

Organic-Hemp-Rubber Yoga Mat Material

Jute is a natural fibre from a plant form the Corchorus genus. Jute is second to cotton in the amount produced and variety of uses. Jute is a rain-fed crop with little need for fertilizers or pesticides. 

Manufacturing

Jute-Hemp production for SATTVA mat is mostly in Bangladesh and China. Bkind 2 urth company claims to make use of organic materials. However, no certifications are provided to prove sustainability and organic status of the materials.

Using

Provides good grip.
Bacteria and mildew resistant
Good for all types of yoga, including hot yoga.

Disposing

Recyclable if facilities available in our area. No toxins are produced when disposed of in a landfill.

PROS

  • Organic
  • Sustainable
  • Non-slip
  • Biodegradable

CONS

  • The mat has to be broken-in
  • It takes about 10 uses to be at its best.
  • No certification

Reason to Buy

Durable and with pretty designs. The only Jute yoga mat we’ve come across that uses Natural Rubber instead of TPE or PER.

Get it now on Amazon


Conclusion

When you are doing yoga you want to know that you are caring for the environment so you can focus on your yoga practice. Fortunately, there are many eco-friendly yoga mat options to choose from. So, you can consider the environment without compromising your comfort and the quality of the mat. 

An eco-friendly yoga mat is good for the environment, but it also needs to be good for your yoga practice. So, what makes a good eco-friendly yoga mat? 

Cork and Natural rubber yoga mats usually last a couple of years with everyday practice. Cotton yoga mats will last a lot longer. Here’s an article on how to choose the best yoga mat material.

Some companies offer warranties of up to 15 years. Here’s our complete guide on how to choose an eco-friendly yoga mat.

The best yoga mat for your yoga practice depends on the type of yoga you will practice and where you are going to do it. Check out this article to help you choose the right yoga mat

A good yoga mat needs to have a strong grip, be the right size and have some cushioning and insulation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to pick a yoga mat?

When choosing a yoga mat consider these:
Where you will practice yoga: home, studio, gym, beach, park…
What style of yoga are you planning to do: slow/relaxing or hard/intense

How to choose a yoga mat size?

Your yoga mat needs to be big enough for you to lay on and move around without touching the cold floor. The yoga mat should be longer than your height and wider than your shoulder.

How to choose a yoga mat material?

Yoga mats come in several types of material. Some are eco-friendly and others are not so much. Most yoga mats are made of a combination of materials: one for each side. Eco-friendly yoga mats cost a bit more.

How to choose a yoga mat thickness?

Standard yoga mat thickness is 3 – 5mm. Travel yoga mats are 1.5mm. You can also get yoga mats of 6mm and even 10mm, but the eco-friendly versions are harder to find. Thicker yoga mats are better if you are planning to practice on the stony beach or if your joints tend to complain.

How to choose yoga mat design?

You may have come across yoga mats that have different prints of mandalas, chakras and other colourful designs. Some sellers let you print your name and others have a variety of affirmations to choose from. But did you know that you can also get an alignment yoga mat? These are yoga mats with guide-lines to help you get the correct alignment for your yoga poses.

What is the best yoga mat?

The best yoga mat is the right size for your body, comfortable, cushioned, has a good grip, and environmentally friendly.

Maria Mendoza

Hi. I'm Maria. I am a Biologist and a Yoga instructor. I've created this blog to share my knowledge and experience with people interested in yoga and those who want to make yoga a part of their lives. Besides I promote and encourage an environmentally responsible yoga practice. Through my articles, you can learn how to begin Yoga and discover the meaning of Yoga. Learn about Asanas, Pranayamas, Mudras, Mantras and Bandhas. Start your Yoga practice today.

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